Watching the news cycle

It’s really fun watching stories make their way from our office into the news. A good example: yesterday, a supporter from Edmonton-Strathcona, our strongest Alberta riding, called us to let us know that Conservative incumbent Rahim Jaffer had sent out an automated telephone message warning his voters to be sure to get to the polls, because he was in a “close race” with the NDP. It was just after Jack Layton had put in an appearance at a rally there, and after years of the Conservatives party basically taking the province for granted he was spooked. We’re doing well there, but frankly it would take some luck for us to win. Strategically, that phone message was idiotic: if people think you’re going to lose, they conclude it’s a waste of time to vote for you. So of course we arranged to obtain a recording of the message, and sent it to all the media we could interest in the story. And a few minutes ago I heard a news anchor report that the Conservatives were struggling to win the riding against a surge in support for the NDP. The “soft” NDP vote there should be pretty firm now, and I bet it will earn us some Liberal strategic votes too. Who knows, maybe it was the lucky break our candidate needed. But even better, having national news anchors announce that Conservative heartland ridings are in danger of going NDP is a wonderful message to send wavering progressive voters across Canada today.

Update: Jaffer won by around 3000 votes, which is a small enough margin that the riding will be in play even more seriously next time. Fun fun fun…